Senator McConnell's Accomplishments - National Cancer Institute

Problem: 

Kentucky has the highest overall rates of cancer incidences and deaths in the country.

Steps taken by Senator McConnell: 

Senator McConnell fought to bring the prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation to the state of Kentucky. NCI-designated cancer centers receive recognition for their dedication to researching advancements in identifying, preventing and treating cancer. Once recognized for their leadership in cancer research, NCI-designated centers become eligible for increased federal funding. Despite having the highest overall rates of cancer incidences and deaths in the country, Kentucky's universities had never before received an NCI-designation. Upon learning that the University of Kentucky's (UK's) Markey Cancer Center submitted an application for an NCI-designation, Senator McConnell worked with UK to bring these additional resources to Kentucky. In September 2012, Senator McConnell spoke with the National Institutes of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins, in his D.C. office to express his support of UK's application. Senator McConnell followed up on the support expressed to Dr. Collins in a letter that was submitted to leaders at the NCI informing them that this designation was a priority for Kentucky.

Result:

UK's Markey Cancer Center was awarded NCI-designation in July 2013. This designation will allow patients to have access to new drugs, treatment options, and clinical trials only offered at NCI centers. They will also be eligible for new federal research grants. This designation will improve the health of Kentuckians and bring jobs into the state. As a result of this designation, the UK Markey Cancer Center has already increased patient volume and care, and recruited some of the best cancer researchers and specialists to the center.

Acknowledgments:

"Administrators praised [Senator McConnell’s] efforts on Capitol Hill to help push the partnership through and protect it from financial cuts.” -WLKY

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